Mobile phone
Credit: lirneasia on Flickr. Some rights reserved

The Knight News Challenge has announced eight projects that will receive a total of $2.4 million in funding.

An app that will help journalists to verify photos and images and an application that turns a SIM card into a storage device enabling journalists working in crisis situations to store information securely, are among the projects that will receive funding.

Human rights organisation Witness has been awarded $320,000 in funding to create the verification app, which will be called InformaCam app. It will automatically stamp photos and videos with identifying information, including the location where it was taken.

A project called Abayima is to receive $150,000 to develop an app that turns a mobile phone SIM card into a storage device that can "safely transfer information when communication networks are compromised or disabled".

The largest funding amount – of $600,000 – is awarded to Wikipedia, to enable it to "develop new tools to allow people to access articles and knowledge via text message in multiple languages".

"The project is part of the Wikimedia Foundation’s efforts to offer access in the developing world to its site without prohibitive data charges," the release states.

The Knight funding will also pay for the development of a mobile toolkit for people in Peru to document the effects of mining and oil drilling; a project that will to turn feature phones into radio stations in Africa; a service that will allow governments to collect data by text; an oral history tool; and a platform to connect smallholder farmers in developing countries, which is being developed by Cafedirect Producers' Foundation, a London-based NGO. Full details of the eight winning projects are here.

The mobile challenge is one of three funding rounds and called for entries from those with "ideas that harness mobile technology to inform and engage communities".

Michael Maness, vice-president for journalism and media innovation at Knight Foundation, said in the announcement: "In 2013 the number of internet-enabled mobile devices is expected to be greater than the number of computers for the first time.

"These eight Knight News Challenge projects, and the innovators behind them, are helping to stretch the ways people around the world are engaging with information and using it to shape their communities."

The winners will appear in a video livestream tomorrow (Friday) when they will outline the projects.

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